The use of private security providers and services in humanitarian operations

A 2008 global survey of aid organisations conducted for this research revealed that the contracting of certain security functions to external professionals has become increasingly common among humanitarian operations worldwide. This trend has followed both the rise in aid worker violence and the proliferation of international private security companies around the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet despite alarming predictions, the use of armed protection by security contractors remains the exception and is confined to a small number of contexts.


Overseas Development Initiative Date published: 27/09/2008

Further information


Regions / countries / territories

Asia: Afghanistan Middle East: Iraq

Global issues

Peace and security